NBA players, for better or for worse, are defined by their dimensions. Modern athletes need to be fast and strong, but they also need to be big, tall, or lengthy. That’s always been true of centers, but it’s becoming more true for guards as well.
How tall is Marcus Smart? His real height is 6’3 (191 cm), and his wingspan is 6’9 (206 cm).
This article will take a long look at that shift by analyzing Marcus Smart. He’s not the flashiest or most famous player around, but he uses his body in a unique way that few other players are able to match. That’s why the Celtics find him so indispensable.
Smart is undoubtedly a great player. That success is largely in spite of, rather than due to, his height. The guard stands at 6’3. That’s not small on a global scale, but it’s on the smaller side for a modern NBA guard.
The league has only been getting bigger with each passing season. Every single position has gotten taller over the past two decades, and that trend shows no signs of slowing. Point guards stand an average of 6’3, where shooting guards have an average height of 6’5.
Those are Smart’s two positions. He’s right in the middle of the pack for point guards, and he’s a few inches off of the average for shooting guards. Even so, he can match up against just about anyone. That’s not due to his height, but rather to his arms.
A Tale of Six
Looking at Smart’s height, he doesn’t seem like an incredibly impressive specimen. However, that changes taking wingspan into account. His frame is not worldbreaking, but his 6’9 wingspan truly sets him apart from just about every other outside player in the league.
Typically, NBA players have long arms. Extra reach is incredibly important for offensive scoring, and it’s a huge deal on defense because it allows athletes to reach up for contests, block shots, steal passes, and interrupt dribble moves.
As a general rule, players want to have arms longer than their height. Most guards in the NBA have wingspans that are two or three inches longer than themselves, with the outliers having four or five inches. Smart has six.
The stout defender’s wingspan measures 6’9, which is much longer than 6’3 frame. That’s why he’s able to go up against just about any guard or wing in the league despite giving up significant height. It’s how he’s so good at harassing opponents as well.
Smart is an interesting player because, unlike many other well-known superstars, he’s not a stat machine. In fact, his on-paper achievements are relatively pedestrian. Still, he’s a key piece in the Celtics squad, and a big reason they were able to make their Finals run.
Throughout the 2021 season, he did a decent job on the offensive end with 12.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game. Those are good numbers for a role player, but they aren’t particularly impressive for someone with as much fanfare as Smart.
His wingspan truly sets him apart from the pack. He brought home Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2021, and locked down excellent shooters time and time again. In an offensive-focused league, his reach makes him a true defensive specialist.
Marcus Smart is a unique athlete in a unique league. Where most high-profile NBA players put up huge stats, he affects the game in a much more subtle way. His height isn’t anything to sneeze at, but his wingspan is truly remarkable.
He’s not a player who gets a lot of highlights, but what he offers on the defensive end is truly special. He would never be able to do that without his long arms.